Modesto Junior College alumnus Tim Truax topped stiff competition to become the 2018 Young Farmers and Ranchers National Collegiate Discussion Meet Champion in Reno, Nevada last weekend. The annual YF&R conference attracted over 50 competitors, each one the champion in their home state in order to earn the opportunity to compete.
Truax, a graduate of Turlock High School, won the California State Collegiate Discussion Meet while studying animal science at MJC. He graduated from MJC last April and served as the student speaker at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony. He transferred to Fresno State where he is currently studying agriculture education.
“Seeing students succeed is the best part of my job,” said Don Borges, dean of MJC Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. “Tim is simply an extraordinary person and I am so fortunate to know him. His future is incredibly bright and we couldn’t be prouder.”
The YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to mimic a committee meeting. Four to six competitors each provide a thirty-second opening statement, which is then followed by 30 minutes of unmoderated discussion and one-minute closing statements.
Judging is conducted on the contestants understanding of the issue at hand, cooperation with competitors, and ability to find a solution. Topics cover tough agricultural issues such as barriers to first generation farming, international trade, legal and regulatory obstacles, and protecting the positive perception of the family farm.
Borges and Lori Marchy, instructor of agriculture business at MJC, attended the national event to cheer for Truax.
“This contest develops excellent communications skills, agricultural knowledge, and overall personal development. I hope Tim’s win will inspire more students to join our team next year. We are happy to see our graduates go forth and be successful after MJC,” said Marchy.